"Very calm in the box" - Birmingham man must live up to Clotet's hype - opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

This could be a make or break signing for the Blues.

A lot of fuss has been made about Birmingham City’s new acquisition Jeremie Bela, with a recent article from Birmingham Live describing him as ‘an astute pick up’.

Whilst he might be the answer that they’re looking for in regards to taking some of the pressure off Lukas Jutkiewicz’s shoulders, there should still be a little bit of cause for concern, because it sounds as if there’s a lot riding on this move.

What’s he said?

Speaking to the club website about the new arrival, Clotet was keen to point out just the sort of qualities that a player like Bela can bring to the club:

“Jeremie has a record of very good numbers when it comes to goalscoring chances, he is very calm in the box, using those chances he is very cool in those situations.”

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A lot of pressure to deliver

Bela has scored 33 career goals (via Transfermarkt), with 11 of them coming this past season, so on the face of it would look as if they’ve got themselves the perfect player. However, when you factor into it the amount of time it takes for a player to adjust to a different league – six games for a striker arriving from Spain according to research – there’s a lot of pressure on him to hit the ground running.

The current forwards that surround Jutkiewicz right now, like Alvaro Gimenez and Kerim Mrabti have been struggling so far this season to find the back of the net – scoring once between them, and if he can’t do it, then Clotet’s men are back to square one when it comes to finding that source of goals to relieve Jutkiewicz.

As we discussed on FFC when the deal was nearing completion, there is potential for him to form a great partnership with the club’s established centre-forward Jutkiewicz, with a ‘big man, little’ man partnership where Bela plays off Jutkiewicz to win flick-ons.

But this is all based around the idea that his goal return last year is a sign of real progression rather than just a freak year where everything went right for him.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this latest gamble by the Blues turns out to be something special, or just another player that can’t make the grade.

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